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FUND-RAISING AND TECHNOLOGY
Progress in technology provides additional options for nonprofit organizations to conduct their fund-raising activities. An effective fund-raising campaign should make use of fund-raising management software. Fund-raising management software will help with efficiency and effectiveness. Such software will increase the efficiency of fund-raising strategies, maintain better communications with donors, and develop quick and accurate reports to strengthen the culture of stewardship and accountability. Fund-raising management software helps better plan and monitor fund-raising activities. Box 12.9 provides some examples of fund-raising management software that nonprofit organizations have used.
BOX 12.8 EXAMPLE OF A SIMPLE BUDGET
Box 12.9 Selected Fund-raising Management Software
DEVELOPED BYZ2 SYSTEMS INC.
This software was designed to increase donations and services by donors while saving time and money for the organization. It does this by automatically inputting and completing many of the parts of the fund-raising process so the user can use her or his time for the bigger parts of the fund-raising process. Some of the key features of this software are online donation forms that make tracking donors, donations, and donor history easy and less time-consuming. There is a payment-processing function that is used when donations are sent using credit cards. This software has the ability to send out custom e-mails and tax receipts to large numbers of people. It can track where funds are coming from and put them in the correct program folder and sends a thank you letter to the donor. This software will track grants, manage letters of inquiry, and remind the user of due dates. In order to attain more donors it will keep track and organize all contact with each person. The pricing of this software is determined by how many constituent records will be saved in the software. URL: z2systems.com/neoncrm/features/fund-raising-donations?pid=capterra &fund-raising
DEVELOPED BY ALLEGIANCE SOFTWARE INC.
This software is specifically designed for nonprofit organizations. It will allow you to divide more than 400 files in order to treat each separately and minimize risk of mistake and/or deletion. It will automatically process donation renewals of credit card information. It will organize amounts and percentages of donations in order to see each individual donor level of donations.
DEVELOPED BYTELOSA SOFTWARE
This software manages contacts and e-mails while being able to move them back and forth when you need to use them. It manages/organizes donation amounts, when the donation occurred, and records the donor and all of his or her contacts in order to better analyze donation history. This software developer stresses the need to spend more time at the beginning to convert all your data so you will not have more problems later. The developer offers classes in web and phone training for this software. URL: telosa.com/software-nonprofits/exceed-premier/
DEVELOPED BY DONORSNAP
DONORSNAP allows you to manage and organize all contacts and donations and stay organized. It allows you to attach and send donation statements to every e-mail in one click. This software will process recurring payments by setting them up on a monthly or annual basis. You can create custom forms for online registration for fund-raising events. The software also has the ability to print a large amount of mail-merge letters, thank-you letters, or any other type of fund-raising letters. You can create online forms, such as change-of-address and volunteer and contact-update forms. This software makes it easy to transfer from Excel or other types of spreadsheets.
BLACKBAUD CRM DEVELOPED BY BLACKBAUD
This software will manage contacts from a variety of sources, including online communication and social media, and all the information will be organized and stored in one place. This software will make it easier to plan and complete fund-raisers and/or marketing strategies. URL: https://blackbaud.com/fund-raising-crm/blackbaud-nonprofit-crm
FUNDRAISER SOFTWARE DEVELOPED BY FUNDRAISER
This software is designed to expand outreach to potential donors, increase money, and create better relationships with donors. It will store and manage donor records, and will alert other staff members to new information with "sticky notes." It will organize donations and automatically create thank you letters for the donors. It has a built-in ability to create reports, including membership reports, correspondence reports, and solicitation and appeals reports.
DEVELOPED BY CHARITYMASTER
This software manages donor contact and history, along with tracking membership and volunteering. It will help organize events. This software includes 1 year of e-mail support. It works well with all Microsoft Office software. The system requirements for this software are
Windows XP or a newer version, Microsoft 2003 or later, and minimum screen resolution of 1024 x 768.
URL: charitymaster.com/index.html GIFTWORKS
DEVELOPED BY GIFTWORKS
This software has many of the same features as the other fund-raising software. It stores and organizes contact information, while storing and managing donations and history, as well as processing recurring donations. It has built-in mail-merge software. It has the ability to custom create many types of reports from the data that you store. This software will easily transfer information from QuikBooks. URL: giftworksconnect.com/
DEVELOPED BY STAYCLASSY
This software is designed to increase a nonprofit organization's online presence and increase online donations. It will help create fund-raising campaigns and make the process faster and more efficient. Some of the features include an unlimited number of fund-raising campaigns, the ability to create e-mail receipts for donations, manage donations and donor contacts along with processing recurring donations, and also provides technical support by phone, e-mail, or in person. URL: stayclassy.org/
TRAILBLAZER NONPROFIT MANAGER
DEVELOPED BY TRAIL BLAZER CAMPAIGN MEDIA INC.
This software is much like the previous ones. Some of the main features include donor and donation tracking, processing recurring donations, and mail merge. It will help you set up events easily and more efficiently, and produce multiple e-mails quickly. One special aspect of this software is that it also works on a Mac so it will work on your iPad or other Macintosh devices.
FUND-RAISING AND FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY
Nonprofit organizations received grants from government agencies and private and corporate foundations to support their activities. However, individual giving represents the largest share of the revenue raised by nonprofit organizations to implement their programs, projects, and services. Grants are restricted funds, because they are awarded based on submission of proposals that outline what the money received will be used for. Once that purpose is set, it is difficult or even impossible for nonprofit organizations to reallocate these funds to other activities that may turn out to be more important. This is not to say that nonprofit organizations should be able to reallocate their funding whenever they want. This could lead to all kinds of issues of accountability and stewardship for grant makers who want their money to be used as they promised to their constituents. Grant money is restricted, and cannot be used for investments that may secure long-term funding for a nonprofit organization. Therefore, there are limitations in terms of how grants can contribute to the financial sustainability of nonprofit organizations. This is where fund-raising income becomes significant for the financial sustainability of a nonprofit organization.
Fund-raising income is unrestricted most of the time. Being unrestricted, fund-raising funds do not have to be spent right away if there is another source of income that can provide funding for current activities. For example, while an organization is within a grant cycle, fund-raising money can be saved or invested, and can be used to continue to provide services when grant money is no longer available. It is important to underline that fund-raising can generate restricted funds as well. However, such restricted funds would generate ongoing income, which makes the restriction different from that of a grant. Further, fund-raising is an ongoing endeavor for every nonprofit organization. The public at large expects to receive solicitations from nonprofit organizations. Some people will donate. Others will not . However, as long as an organization exists, it can continue to generate funding through fund-raising. This makes fund-raising one of the most, if not the most sustainable income-generation strategy for nonprofit organizations. Fund-raising may also be, by far, the most important contributing factor to the financial sustainability of a nonprofit organization.